1 new imported case of COVID-19; no new community cases

Media release

27 October 2020

There is one new case of COVID-19 in managed isolation and no new community cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. 

The new case is a person who arrived in Auckland on 19 October from the United Kingdom, via Kuala Lumpur on flight EK 448.

The person is now in Auckland’s quarantine facility.

Seven cases have now recovered, meaning the total number of active cases is 68. 

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,585.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 2,311 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,072,492. 

Yesterday’s testing figure reflects the public holiday, and it was good to see strong testing numbers in the earlier part of the weekend.

Auckland testing

Seven community testing centres remain open around Auckland today.

COVID-19 testing is also available across metro Auckland at a number of urgent care clinics and at general practices. A reminder that wherever a person is swabbed, a COVID-19 test is free of charge.

Since the new community case was reported on Sunday 18 October, there have been 20,668 community tests in Auckland.

Alongside contact tracing and testing of close and casual contacts, this wider testing helps provide reassurance that there are not undetected community infections associated with this small group of cases.

Thanks to all those who worked long hours over the past week and long weekend to set up temporary testing sites and to carry out swabbing and process the tests in the city’s laboratories. 

For information on where to get tested in Auckland, contact Healthline (0800 358 5453) or visit the ARPHS website. 

Child in Japan

We’re aware that a New Zealander (a child) entering Japan returned a weak positive for COVID-19 on arrival last Friday 23 October – we suspect this is a historical case or a false positive result and we have been working with our Japanese counterparts to bring forward their second test – which is scheduled for Thursday Japanese time. 

The family is in managed isolation in Japan; other family members returned negative tests on arrival. All the family members were tested before they left New Zealand and all of them returned a negative result.

We have also requested a serology test of the case and the family.

While we are waiting for confirmation that our assessment that the weak positive result is either a false positive result or a historical case, there are some actions being taken which fit with the very precautionary approach taken by New Zealand to date.

Several close family members who remain in NZ were isolated and tested, with all returning negative COVID-19 test results.

The child had been attending a Napier-based child care centre. The local Public Health Unit has now been in contact with the centre and families to reassure the staff and all parents that the situation is regarded as very low risk. 

On Thursday, 22 October the family flew from Napier to Auckland on Air New Zealand flight NZ5018 before travelling on to Japan.

Anyone on the same flight between Napier and Auckland, Air NZ flight NZ 5018 on Thursday 22 October should also be alert for symptoms, and if symptoms develop to stay home and get a COVID-19 test.

Ken Rei

We can now report that the cargo ship Ken Rei has docked at the Port of Napier.

The port’s agent went on board and has told us all the crew are in ‘good spirits.’

All crew members have previously returned negative day 6 COVID-19 test results.

None of the crew from the Ken Rei will be leaving the ship while it is in Napier and the ship will head for Tauranga on Thursday.

International mariners in managed isolation in Christchurch

The Ministry has reconciled its reporting of the International Mariners, with the local public health unit.

There are a total of 29 international mariners in Christchurch who have tested positive to COVID-19. This is fewer than previously reported; 18 were identified at day 3; 8 were identified at day 6 (when all were retested); and three were identified at day 9, when close contacts of known cases were retested.

NZ COVID Tracer App 

The NZ COVID Tracer app has reached the significant milestone today of 100 million scans.

An average of 850,000 scans took place each day over the weekend (1pm Friday to 1pm Monday), compared to the recent average of around 600,000 per day.

This includes just under 1 million scans on Saturday (990,702), the highest volume since 3 October.

It’s important all New Zealanders get back into the habit of using the app wherever we go, so we can keep a step ahead of the virus.

The Ministry asks all businesses to routinely ask customers and visitors to scan the QR codes.

Remember – the more we all scan, the safer we’ll all be.

Media contact

Blair Cunningham
021 195 3978

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